World Cup 2022: after expressing discontent, Red Devils show up together for training

Two days before the crucial group match against Croatia at the World Cup in Qatar and after expressing discontent in different press interviews, the Belgian football players attended today's training together. All 26 Red Devils showed up for training on the afternoon of Tuesday, November 29.

Eden Hazard had said on Saturday that the team's defense was too slow. Jan Vertonghen suggested that perhaps the forwards were too slow. And Kevin De Bruyne told The Guardian that the Devils are "too old" to still compete for awards. In another interview with French-language public broadcaster RTBF, national team coach Roberto Martinez admitted on Monday that there were "tensions" in the group.

The training was open to the press only for fifteen minutes. There, journalists could see Captain Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne worked the warming up separately. De Bruyne had his running shoes on and Hazard was on the field with football boots. Romelu Lukaku also returned to training.

Against Croatia, there must be a win in group F on Thursday on the final day. "I don't think Romelu can handle 90 minutes," national coach Roberto Martinez admitted on Monday during an informal press moment, the day after the painful 0-2 slip against Morocco.

The Belgian top scorer of all time recovered in recent weeks from an injury to the left hamstring. The Belgian World Cup opening game against Canada came too early for Big Rom (Romelu Lukaku). In the run-up to the second group match against Morocco, he completed his first group training sessions, ten minutes before the end he was allowed to replace Thomas Meunier. Those were his first playing minutes since October 29. This season he did not get further than 256 minutes in 5 matches for the Italians at Inter due to injuries. He was good for two goals and an assist.

A place on the bench and a possible raid against Morocco was the highest achievable, against Croatia there may be more. The Belgians have only scored once in two World Cup matches and so the nation's hopes rest on Lukaku's shoulders.



Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne during a press conference of the Belgian national soccer team the Red Devils, at the Qatar National Convention Center QNCC, in Doha, Tuesday 29 November 2022 © BELGA PHOTO (VIRGINIE LEFOUR)









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